May 27, 2013
As part of its 30th Anniversary Season, the Ballet Folklórico Mexicano de Nueva York (BFMNY) is celebrating by hosting various events throughout 2013, among them a dance conference and workshop series: La Guelaguetza and the Folkloric and Traditional Dance of Oaxaca.
Distinguished International teacher and visiting artist from Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Héctor Hernández Villar, together with our very own Artistic Director José R. Gonzalez have been collaborating to bring us the regional dances of Oaxaca. Mr. Hernández has been working exclusively with BFMNY members for the past week and a half sharing with us his more than thirty years of experience as a dance instructor. His workshops on the dance and history of La Guelaguetza, Oaxaca's world-renowned dance festival, will be opening this week to the general public. This is an opportunity not to be missed. The experience thus far for the BFMNY has not only been educational and enriching to all of our members, but will leave a lasting legacy. The BFMNY will now be able to provide an expanded repertoire representing one of Mexico’s most cherished States. Oaxaca’s richness in its dances, music and traditions are admired worldwide and Oaxaca’s historic city center and the nearby Monte Albán archaeological site are UNESCO world heritage sites.
La Guelaguetza, whose name comes from the indigenous Zapotec word “to give” or “to offer”, takes place in Oaxaca City, Mexico every summer and showcases the regional dances, music and traditions of Oaxaca. Each region brings to the festival and its participants something “to give” which is representative of that region. Tuxtepec, known for its cultivation of pineapples, each year presents its much-loved “Dance of the Pineapple” which is eagerly awaited by audiences in Oaxaca City’s Guelaguetza auditorium. Mr. Hernández has graciously been sharing his expertise of this dance, from his hometown of Tuxtepec, which he has taken to La Guelaguetza many times over, and has now brought to New York City. Of course, Mr. Hernández’s repertoire includes all of the regions of Oaxaca and thus far the BFMNY has also been fortunate in learning the Turtle Dance, the Dances from the Coast of Oaxaca and the Dances from the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.
In addition to the three-day conference and workshop series opening to the general public on Tuesday, May 28th in Manhattan’s Casa Puebla, BFMNY will host a closing wine and cheese event on Friday, May 31st featuring a spectacular exhibit of Oaxaca’s traditional dress in Casa Puebla’s Gallery. It is very exciting to have Mr. Hernández as a visiting artist and we hope you will participate in any or all of our week-long Oaxaca events.
In the tradition of La Guelaguetza, Mr. Hernández Villar has given generously of his knowledge and as the recipients of this knowledge we aspire to give back year after year hosting New York’s very own Guelaguetza starting this July. We are grateful to the Brooklyn Arts Council for making this event possible by providing us with a BAC grant. BFMNY will keep you posted on the details of our much anticipated summer festival. We look forward to seeing you.